CUPE 882 members set to strike without City agreement by Sept. 11

CUPE 882 members rally outside of Prince Albert City Hall on Aug. 28, 2023. (CUPE Local 882/Facebook)

Members of CUPE 882 will go on strike if they have not reached a tentative agreement with the City of Prince Albert by Sept. 11 – This would be the first ever strike from municipal employees.

“CUPE 882 doesn’t want to go on strike. We want to reach a deal at the table,” said vice-president Cara Stelmaschuk.

The union represents workers at City Hall and recreation facilities such as the Frank J. Dunn Pool, Art Hauser Centre, EA Rawlinson Centre, Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse and the Arts Centre.

Employees have been taking legal strike action since Aug. 10. This includes refusal to train others and foregoing dress codes, conventions and standards. 

That will include a withdrawal of services should it not reach a tentative agreement with the City soon.

Making the announcement outside of City Hall on Wednesday, Stelmaschuk said the City has refused to continue bargaining.

“In the last year and a half, we’ve only had eight days of face-to-face bargaining. Our membership has twice rejected the city’s current offer,” she said.

CUPE 882 and the City were at a standstill with a one per cent offer difference for wage increases. The union held firm with its ask of a 12 per cent increase, while the City said it wouldn’t budge from 11 per cent.

On Tuesday, a news release from CUPE said members voted to reject the City’s latest offer.

“We put on the table everything we have, and that’s all we have, whether you’re in-scope or out-of-scope,” said Mayor Greg Dionne following last week’s city council meeting.

He added that the City is wanting to improve its working relationship with its employees.

Earlier this week, CUPE’s national president joined members outside of City Hall for a rally.